About the Three Refuges (Sanki Raimon)

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39270

    About the Three Refuges (Sanki Raimon)

    Our Chant at Treeleaf reads ...

    The Three Refuges Verse
    (Sanki Raimon)

    I take refuge in Buddha,
    May all living beings embody the Great Way
    and give rise to the highest aspiration (of enlightenment).

    I take refuge in Dharma,
    May all living beings enter deeply into the Sutras,
    that Ocean of Wisdom.

    I take refuge in Sangha,
    May all living beings support harmony in the Community,
    free from all hindrances.


    The original in Sino-Japanese is ...

    三帰礼文
    自帰依仏, 当願衆生, 体解大道, 発無上意,

    自帰依法, 当願衆生, 深入経蔵, 智慧如海,

    自帰依僧, 当願衆生, 統理大衆, 一切無礙.

    SANKI RAIMON
    JI KI E BUTSU, TŌ GAN SHU JŌ, TAI GE DAI DŌ, HOTSU MU JŌ I.
    JI KI E HŌ, TŌ GAN SHU JŌ, JIN NYŪ KYŌ ZŌ, CHI E NYO KAI.
    JI KI E SŌ, TŌ GAN SHU JŌ, TŌ RI DAI SHŪ, IS-SAI MU GE.


    Here is a recitation in Japanese. (If you are wondering about the wig and shades, well, the Japanese Soto priest who makes these videos is very serious, but something of an online character and personality ) ...


    He recites once, although some Soto priests and practitioners will recite thrice.

    Here is a version from Eiheiji, the Soto Zen Head Temple, with the reciter soloing on the first line ...


    Here a version from China, where their chanting is more lyrical than most chants in Japanese ....


    Here is a mesmerizing version in Pali which can be heard all through Buddhist India and South Asia, and is very popular ...


    This Rinzai Zen teacher in the US combines the Pali with a version in English. Her version expands on the shorter Chinese-Japanese and English version we recite ...


    So, what is "Refuge?" Some modern folks may have difficulty with loaded terms such at that, given their other childhood religions. Really, it is just to rely upon, pour oneself into, find safety in, support and be supported by.

    Buddha is the fellow in India long ago, but also all manifestations of Buddha everywhere in all time, and the whole of reality which is "Buddha" in boundless sense too. We rely upon, pour ourself into, find safety in, support and are supported by this.

    Dharma is the Buddhist Teachings of Wisdom and Compassion, also vast and boundless as an ocean, which we rely upon, pour ourself into, find safety in, support and are supported by in our Practice and all Life.

    Sangha is the community of fellow Buddhists, both at Treeleaf and in the wider world, and truly the whole world, whole universe is our Great Assembly, Great Community, which we rely upon, pour ourself into, find safety in, support and are supported by.

    It somehow reminds me of this this wonderful song ... what Community is truly about.


    Gassho, J

    stlah
    Last edited by Jundo; 04-12-2024, 02:27 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE
  • Doshin
    Member
    • May 2015
    • 2644

    #2


    Each unique

    Doshin
    Stlah

    Comment

    • Huichan
      Member
      • Jan 2022
      • 214

      #3
      This is very similar to what we chant at the temple near me. I never realised Buddha could also be represented by '仏', only thought it was ‘佛’, which seems to be more common here. Only real differences I notice is that the end of the first line is normally ‘心' not ‘意' (can see this in the Chinese video above). And on the last line there is normally an extra 4 characters '和南聖眾', which I think means something like prostrating to all of the holy beings? (this isn't in the Chinese video above).


      慧禅
      stlah
      Last edited by Huichan; 04-12-2024, 08:09 AM.
      慧禅 | Huìchán | Ross

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39270

        #4
        Originally posted by Huichan
        This is very similar to what we chant at the temple near me. I never realised Buddha could also be represented by '仏', only thought it was ‘佛’, which seems to be more common here. Only real differences I notice is that the end of the first line is normally ‘心' not ‘意' (can see this in the Chinese video above). And on the last line there is normally an extra 4 characters '和南聖眾', which I think means something like prostrating to all of the holy beings? (this isn't in the Chinese video above).


        慧禅
        stlah
        Thank you, Huichan. 仏 is a simplified form of 佛, meaning Buddha, and also the Kanji for France/French, which is amusing to my French friends, where everyone is a "Buddha Person" 仏人.
        Because France can be written as 仏蘭西(フランス). When countries names are written in Kanji, we use ateji(当て字)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ateji  Actuary, most of country names are able to be written in Kanji, but we usually write them in Katakana nowadays except some countries names.(China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong. Japan) France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the USA, the UK, India, Canada, Australia, Russia and some countries names could be expressed with using the first Kanji of the name in Kanji. (Mostly in the newspapers) E.g. Canada 加 (加奈陀) India 印   (印度) Australia 豪 (豪州) Russia 露 (露西亜) France 仏 (仏蘭西) We use 仏語 to mean French language, and yes. you can use 仏人 to mean French people. 仏(ほとけ) basically means Buddha. We call Buddhism 仏教(ぶっきょう).|@Ailynh: Because 仏represents 'F' sound. France is expressed 仏蘭西 in kanji. Each single word corresponds F, RAN, and CE sound when Japanese pronounce. There is no relevance to Budda.|仏 can be pronounced as "futsu" and it is used for the pronunciation "f" of France. So, it is not concerned with Buddhism. フランス uses 4 letters, writing newspaper articles needs less letters, so sometimes 仏 is used instead of フランス.


        Of course, 意 in Japanese means something like "idea, mind, intent, desire, will" and 心 means "mind" (and also "heart"), so it is a small difference.

        I searched for 和南聖眾 in Soto Zen liturgy, and found that it appears, not in the Three Refuges, but once as "聖衆を和南す" in an "Eko" dedication of merit found a Soto Zen Funeral service for lay people with a most wondrous, and certainly later Chinese influenced meaning. A Soto Priest attempts to explain here ...

        The Eko Dedication of Merit in the "Parishioner Funeral Ritual Method" (檀信徒喪儀法) that we are currently using ... has as follows.

        "Sending Off to Beyond the Clouds, and Salutation/Reverencing (聖衆) the Holy Assembly (聖衆)." (雲程に奉送し、聖衆を和南す。)

        It is the "Salutation/Reverencing (聖衆) the Holy Assembly (聖衆)" part that I would like to discuss in this article. The word "Wanan" (和南) means "devotional service" to express one's feelings toward an object of respect. Thus, in this case, it means "I offer devotional worship to the holy ones." By the way, what kind of "holy people" should we imagine in the case of a word used in this situation? It seems that the circumstances under which this Eko Dedication of Merit was produced and the subsequent development of Soto Zen doctrine have a close relationship. ...

        The current Soto-shu interpretation of this phrase ["Sending Off to Beyond the Clouds, and Salutation/Reverencing (聖衆) the Holy Assembly (聖衆)] is as follows: "We send (the spirit of deceased person) to the heavenly realms where white clouds hover overhead, and we offer devotional worship to the holy ones (who welcome us there)." Now considering that the "Ten Buddhist Names" are recited in [this section of the ritual], the "holy ones" in this case would naturally be the following, based on the wording traditionally used in the Soto sect [but without including the Lotus Sutra] ...

        Vairocana Buddha
        Rocana Buddha
        Shakyamuni Buddha
        Maitreya Buddha
        The Buddhas of the Ten Directions and the Three Realms
        Monju Bodhisattva
        Fugen Bodhisattva
        Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
        Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas (Great Beings)

        [Jundo Note: We recite this list too, for example, in a portion of the Meal Chant]

        However, a problem remains. If we take refuge in all of them, then to which "cloud range" have we sent them [because they all reside different places]? In the case of Vairocana Buddha, would we be in the " Pure Land of Mysterious Adornment"? If it is Shakyamuni Buddha, it would be in this world, and if it is Maitreya Buddha, it would be in the wonderful world where Maitreya lives. The later "Bodhisattvas" do not have their own specialized world. In fact, if we just say "Salutation/Reverencing the Holy Assembly," without the "Beyond the Clouds" part, "the holy ones" in this case would mean the "Three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma Sangha," since "Salutation/Reverencing the Holy Assembly" is mentioned in various "Buddhist ritual books" of the Song Dynasty in China following the "Three Refuges." ... The source of this graveside recitation is probably the "Zennen Shingi" (禅苑清規, The Rules of Zen Decorum), which was written in the Song dynasty (960-1279) of China.

        ... [Centuries ago]. the Soto sect in Japan was confronted with the Honganji sect, the very large Pure Land sect, which was very powerful in the Hokuriku region of Northern Japan ... and at the time of [the Soto sect's establishment in that region], it was supposed to have introduced a Pure Land worldview (although Dogen Zenji criticized the "other-dwelling" and "other-land" Pure Land practice). Later, it was intentionally deleted afterwards ... but since it was not possible to change the whole text so drastically some "traces" remain here and there ... and in areas that are under pressure from the Pure Land sect, there is no other choice but [for the sect] to try to survive by highlighting the differences [that we chant to these other figures, not to Amida Buddha]. ...

        Therefore, I think that thinking too hard about it may lead to confusion.

        https://blog.goo.ne.jp/tenjin95/e/a5...1267ceec877ec2


        To anyone who understands the history of the spread of Soto Zen through Japan, where it had to compete with other sects by offering similar rituals, but with its own Soto twist, the above will kinda make a little sense. Just a little.

        Gassho, Jundo

        stlah
        Last edited by Jundo; 04-12-2024, 10:21 AM.
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • Kokuu
          Treeleaf Priest
          • Nov 2012
          • 6755

          #5
          Thank you, Jundo. That is really interesting. In my Buddhist practice prior to Zen, taking refuge was a pivotal part of the tradition, done every day, and sometimes multiple times in a day as it is generally part of most practices. It is the root or anchor, and everything that is done flows from that.

          I have been using the San kie mon in my own practice but it may be that what the Zen monk chants in the first video is more common/traditional?

          NAMU KIE BUTSU 南無歸依佛  
          NAMU KIE HO 南無歸依法  
          NAMU KIE SO 南無歸依僧  

          KIE BUTSU MUJŌ SON 南無歸依僧  
          KIE HO RIJIN SON 歸依法離塵尊  
          KIE SO WAGŌ SON 歸依僧和合尊  

          KIE BUK-KYŌ 歸依佛竟  
          KIE HO-KYŌ 歸依法竟  
          KIE SO-KYŌ 歸依僧竟

          From now until I realise Buddhahood,
          I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma; I take refuge in the Sangha.
          I take refuge in the Buddha, the most exalted one; I take refuge in the Dharma, the alleviator of all desire; I take refuge in the Sangha, the most honourable community.
          I have taken refuge in the Buddha; I have taken refuge in the Dharma; I have taken refuge in the Sangha.  


          I think that the version you have as Sanksrit is actually Pali. My children would come back from a Thai Forest temple chanting this!

          Buddham saranam gacchami.
          I take refuge in the Buddha.

          Dhammam saranam gacchami.
          I take refuge in the Dharma.

          Sangham saranam gacchami.
          I take refuge in the Sangha.


          Gassho
          Kokuu

          Comment

          • Huichan
            Member
            • Jan 2022
            • 214

            #6
            Originally posted by Jundo
            Thank you, Huichan. 仏 is a simplified form of 佛, meaning Buddha, and also the Kanji for France/French, which is amusing to my French friends, where everyone is a "Buddha Person" 仏人.
            Because France can be written as 仏蘭西(フランス). When countries names are written in Kanji, we use ateji(当て字)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ateji  Actuary, most of country names are able to be written in Kanji, but we usually write them in Katakana nowadays except some countries names.(China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong. Japan) France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the USA, the UK, India, Canada, Australia, Russia and some countries names could be expressed with using the first Kanji of the name in Kanji. (Mostly in the newspapers) E.g. Canada 加 (加奈陀) India 印   (印度) Australia 豪 (豪州) Russia 露 (露西亜) France 仏 (仏蘭西) We use 仏語 to mean French language, and yes. you can use 仏人 to mean French people. 仏(ほとけ) basically means Buddha. We call Buddhism 仏教(ぶっきょう).|@Ailynh: Because 仏represents 'F' sound. France is expressed 仏蘭西 in kanji. Each single word corresponds F, RAN, and CE sound when Japanese pronounce. There is no relevance to Budda.|仏 can be pronounced as "futsu" and it is used for the pronunciation "f" of France. So, it is not concerned with Buddhism. フランス uses 4 letters, writing newspaper articles needs less letters, so sometimes 仏 is used instead of フランス.
            Weird. In Chinese French are 法国人. So they are Dharma (or law) Country People


            慧禅
            stlah
            慧禅 | Huìchán | Ross

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39270

              #7
              Originally posted by Huichan
              Weird. In Chinese French are 法国人. So they are Dharma (or law) Country People


              慧禅
              stlah
              It is all phonetic, of course. In Chinese 法 is Fa, similar to the pronunciation of FArance, and part of 法兰西 fǎlánxī ... close to Falansi ...

              and in Japanese 仏 is Fu, and part of 仏蘭西, read FU-ran-su.




              Gassho, J

              stlah
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39270

                #8
                Originally posted by Kokuu
                I have been using the San kie mon in my own practice but it may be that what the Zen monk chants in the first video is more common/traditional?

                NAMU KIE BUTSU 南無歸依佛  
                NAMU KIE HO 南無歸依法  
                NAMU KIE SO 南無歸依僧  

                KIE BUTSU MUJŌ SON 南無歸依僧  
                KIE HO RIJIN SON 歸依法離塵尊  
                KIE SO WAGŌ SON 歸依僧和合尊  

                KIE BUK-KYŌ 歸依佛竟  
                KIE HO-KYŌ 歸依法竟  
                KIE SO-KYŌ 歸依僧竟
                Thank you, I should have mentioned that in the top post. I will add something. In my understanding, the Three Refuges Verse, Sanki Raimon (or San kirai mon, written 三帰礼文 or, in older Kanji, 三歸禮文), which I posted above, is a related but separate chant to the Verse of Threefold Refuge (San kie mon 三歸依文) which you post.

                The latter is a special wording for the Precepts Ceremony, either for Homeleaving or Jukai Precepts, where it is also sometimes called the Precepts of Three Refuges (Sankikai 三歸戒). In the latter case, it is considered 3 of the 16 Bodhisattva Precepts that we undertake. So, this latter chant would be most appropriate for within Precept Ceremonies, while the former is more for daily recital.

                At least, that is my understanding looking at the Gyoji and other sources.

                Does it really matter which one you choose to recite for your own personal chanting? No, not at all. All the same.

                And, thank you for mentioning that I confuddled the Pali and the Sanskrit.


                Gassho, J

                stlah
                Last edited by Jundo; 04-12-2024, 03:02 PM.
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Jundo
                  Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                  • Apr 2006
                  • 39270

                  #9
                  PS -

                  I will also add that the wording of the San kie mon in English, which you posted Kokuu ...

                  From now until I realise Buddhahood,
                  I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma; I take refuge in the Sangha.
                  I take refuge in the Buddha, the most exalted one; I take refuge in the Dharma, the alleviator of all desire; I take refuge in the Sangha, the most honourable community.
                  I have taken refuge in the Buddha; I have taken refuge in the Dharma; I have taken refuge in the Sangha.  
                  ... seems more elaborate (especially on the middle lines) than the Soto-shu version I see, which is closer to the literal Kanji ...

                  Hail refuge in buddha.
                  Hail refuge in dharma.
                  Hail refuge in sangha.
                  I take refuge in buddha, honored as highest.
                  I take refuge in dharma, honored as stainless.
                  I take refuge in sangha, honored as harmonious.
                  I have taken refuge in buddha.
                  I have taken refuge in dharma.
                  I have taken refuge in sangha.
                  Where did you get that?

                  The Version for our Treeleaf Jukai, by the way, is ...

                  Respectful devotion to Buddha, Respectful devotion to Dharma, Respectful devotion to Sangha.

                  Devotion to Buddha, the Guiding One; Devotion to Dharma, the Reality & Teaching; Devotion to Sangha, the Embracing Community.

                  Sincere devotion to Buddha, Sincere devotion to Dharma, Sincere devotion to Sangha.
                  Our Treeleaf version was based on Nishijima Roshi's wording with some small changes by me. It is interesting that the Nishijima-Cross "Jukai" section of Shobogenzo has the wording like this ...

                  “I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha.

                  I take refuge in the Buddha, honored among two-legged ones.
                  I take refuge in the Dharma, honored as beyond desire.
                  I take refuge in the Sangha, honored among communities.

                  I have taken refuge in the Buddha, have taken refuge in the Dharma, have taken refuge in the Sangha.”
                  This is rather close to the Kanji cited by Dogen in Shobogenzo Jukai ...

                  歸依佛、歸依法、歸依。
                  歸依佛陀兩足中尊、歸依達磨離欲中尊、歸依伽衆中尊。
                  歸依佛竟、歸依法竟、歸依竟。
                  ... but those Kanji are rather different from the other versions, for example the 三歸依文 San kie mon ...

                  namu kie butsu 南無歸依佛
                  namu kie ho 南無歸依法
                  namu kie so 南無歸依僧
                  kie butsu mujō son 歸依佛無上尊
                  kie ho rijin son 歸依法離塵尊
                  kie so wagō son 歸依僧和合尊
                  kie buk-kyō 歸依佛竟
                  kie ho kyo 歸依法竟
                  kie so kyo 歸依僧竟
                  ... so a bit of a mystery ...

                  Gassho, J

                  stlah
                  Last edited by Jundo; 04-12-2024, 03:36 PM.
                  ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                  Comment

                  • Kokuu
                    Treeleaf Priest
                    • Nov 2012
                    • 6755

                    #10
                    Where did you get that?
                    I thought it was from Sotoshu but maybe not!

                    Thank you for the additional information. I like Nishijima's Jukai version and it is interesting that the Jukai fascicle has different wording.

                    Gassho
                    Kokuu

                    Comment

                    • Jundo
                      Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                      • Apr 2006
                      • 39270

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Kokuu
                      I thought it was from Sotoshu but maybe not!
                      The current

                      Three Refuges Verse (Sankie mon 三帰依文) Hail refuge in buddha; hail refuge in dharma; hail refuge in sangha. I take refuge in buddha, honored as the highest; I take refuge in dharma, honored as the stainless; I take refuge in sangha, honored as harmonious. I have completely taken refuge in buddha; I have completely taken refuge in dharma; I have completely taken refuge in sangha.
                      and

                      Three Refuges Prayer (Sanki raimon 三帰礼文) I take refuge in buddha. May all beings embody the great way, resolving to awaken. I take refuge in dharma. May all living beings deeply enter the sutras, wisdom like an ocean I take refuge in sangha. May all beings support harmony in the community, free from hindrance.
                      I went to see what Okumura Roshi has to say in Living By Vow ...

                      The English translation of the verse of the Triple Treasure in the MZMC [Minnesota Zen Meditation Center] sutra book is:

                      I take refuge in the Buddha, vowing with all sentient
                      beings, acquiring the Great Way, awakening the unsurpassable mind.
                      I take refuge in the Dharma, vowing with all sentient beings,
                      deeply entering the teaching, wisdom like the sea.
                      I take refuge in the Sangha, vowing with all sentient beings,
                      bringing harmony to all, completely, without hindrance.

                      [FOOTNOTE] The translation in Sōtō School Scriptures for Daily Services and Practice is “I take refuge in
                      buddha. / May all beings / embody the great way, / resolving to awaken. / I take refuge
                      in dharma. / May all living beings / deeply enter the sutras, wisdom like an ocean. / I
                      take refuge in sangha. / May all beings / support harmony in the community, / free
                      from hindrance.” This verse was originally a part of the longer verse in chapter 11 of
                      the Avataṃsaka Sutra, titled “Purifying Practice.” The English translation is as follows.
                      “Taking refuge in the Buddha, / They should wish that all beings / Continue the lineage
                      of Buddhas, / Conceiving the unexcelled aspiration. / Taking refuge in the Teaching, /
                      They should wish that all beings / Enter deeply into the scriptures / And their wisdom
                      be deep as the sea. / Taking refuge in the Community, / They should wish that all beings
                      / Order the masses, / All becoming free from obstruction.” Thomas Cleary, trans., The
                      Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of The Avatamsaka Sutra (Boston: Shambhala, 1993), pp. 315–16.
                      So, that is the Sanki Raimon, with no particular discussion of the San kie mon.

                      Tanahashi Sensei in his "Zen Chants" book does not really say much.
                      ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                      Comment

                      • Kokuu
                        Treeleaf Priest
                        • Nov 2012
                        • 6755

                        #12
                        Thank you, Jundo

                        Comment


                        • Tai Shi
                          Tai Shi commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I take refuge in depth,
                          I take refuge in the Buddha
                          I take refuge in th\e DHARMA
                          I take refuge in the Sangha,

                          In Kokuu I have learned rakusu,
                          I have learned the PEACE

                          I have learned the necessity
                          Of deep reflection to ward off flies
                          Of gnats, of Bakudon gone into recluse
                          Boy gone into needed care, of girl
                          Into needed carre, please recovery

                          Of these given over to safety
                          Of next generation of peace
                          Of next generation speaking
                          Japanese, of nest generation
                          Bring communication
                          In time of need.i

                          Gassho
                          Tai Sh
                          Sat/lahi
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